Whatevergate 2012: Celeb Gossip and My Total Apathy

Listen, I know Kristen Stewart is really pretty and that Robert Pattison is hella Sparkly (that’s some kind of Twilight thing, right?), but I’m feeling awkward and a half at how much I know about their personal lives when I don’t even make a remote effort to follow gossip. Just for the record, this isn’t high school, and these people are actual human beings. So while it’s fascinating and scandalous that the prom queen cheated on the quarterback with her neighbor’s dad, this endless PTA meeting just isn’t my thing.

Between this and the omg-will-it-ever-end speculation on what really happened between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, my ears have fallen off and hidden under the sofa, and I don’t even want to convince them to come back out. I want to join them in that sweet, dark, quiet place where I don’t have to be inundated with the sordid details of who basted who’s turkey, if you get my drift. I know everyone loves this sh*t and lives and breathes US Weekly or Star or whatever rag is their jam, but on behalf of us few who aren’t funding the Hollywood news cycle, please: just turn it down a notch?

You know when you’re watching a movie with your friends and the script and the acting are just so bad that you feel awkward? That’s what I feel like when I hear people talk about celebrity breakups. Like when someone analyzes Kristen Stewart’s feelings, even though they don’t even know her. Or when Robert Pattinson gets pity-sympathy because it’s not his fault he’s a Hufflepuff (please, everyone knows the Sorting Hat takes your choice into account). Seriously, though, it’s just weird when people talk about celebrities like they’re the couple down the street – people whose lives they’re involved in, and of whom they can have informed opinions that define how perceptive and morally glorious a person they truly are.

I’m not saying you’re a bad person if celeb gossip makes you happy, though I can’t help raising an eyebrow because, I mean, with the whole universe of things that are fun, this is your thing? Don’t stab me in my pretentious for saying this, but while Kristen Stewart was in the midst of a media sh*tstorm for cheating on a boyfriend she (apparently?) never even admitted to having, there was probably a woman in Saudi Arabia being put to death for cheating on her husband by getting raped. Yes, I’m a buzkill. So is execution, probably. I’m just saying, it’s weird to see people get so emotionally invested over something like Robstengate, and just be all “wow, that sux” about human rights issues.

Actually, wait. I take that back. It’s not that people get so emotionally invested, it’s that the press inundates us with this completely useless information without sharing the more relevant stories, be it domestic or international. It’s an easy out for everyone – celeb gossip means no critical thinking and having lots of feelings, which is something everyone can do. It made me laugh when ‘Girls’ premiered and everyone was up in arms about nepotism, as if anyone in Hollywood was there on talent alone. If you want to be a celebrity, you have to be marketable. You’re a product, and for people like Stewart and Pattinson, who are part of a movie franchise, that applies even more so. They aren’t just selling Twilight tickets, they’re selling magazines, tabloids, posters, crappy keychains, and adspace on E! and Perez Hilton.

Because people want it. People buy it, and they love it, and they want more of it, as if they would never be happy until they had a Scrooge McDuck money-vault filled to the brim with useless facts and opinions about pretty people they’ve never met. And in a way, I don’t blame them. Unemployment is still scary, this upcoming election is getting crazy and Chick-Fil-A wants to stab Jim Henson’s corpse (that’s what’s going on, right? I don’t read the news, I just skim my Facbeook feed). So I guess escapism is important, it just seems like there are ways to get there without wrecking someone’s privacy or commodifying their entire existence. In any case, do what you need to do, just let me opt out of it, k?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505631526 Liz Haebe

    I admit, I like some celeb gossip every now and then, and even I have to admit that this is all too much. I can’t force myself to care about it, and I am dismayed that things that do matter are getting shoved aside so that CNN can report on what could, possibly, be a marketing ploy. I think as I get older, the more I don’t want to focus on frivolous things even though I use that as my candy/brainwash. Especially with so much stuff going on in the news, I really feel like there is more important stuff to be focusing on. Well said, Julia, as always.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9101386 M.C. Silver

    Yesterday my faith in humanity was restored a little bit when I replied to People Mag’s tweet asking “Should Rob break up with Kristen?” by saying “I refuse. No one should get to weigh in on other people’s relationships” AND I saw I was not the only one who responded in the like. Made my heart swell with pride :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000575363557 Maren Guckelsberger

    It’s really awkward to know so much about people you’ve never met in person. I don’t judge, but the media is getting too obsessive with all that sh**t.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1652421693 Amalia Pantazi

    You said it, Julia Gazdag. I couldn’t agree more!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1051172358 Caroline Tara de Gier

    I just wonder why the celebrities have to apologize to/in public, why is any of it our business anyway?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=684710503 Kay B. Douglas

    Thank you Julia Gazdag. THANK YOU!

  • http://www.juliagazdag.com Julia Gazdag

    YOU GUYS! You give me hope. And sanity. And hope for sanity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000405804082 Beata Weidinger

    Thank you again! 😀 :))

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=508962595 Laura Angeles

    Julia, i love you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1228740130 Christine McQuaid

    Julia. You are brilliant.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1480560011 Maggie Voorhees

    When I went to my MSN homepage hoping to find out more about the Aurora shootings, which is a real tragedy, I was bombed my post about Robersten. And yes, I read some, because I was curious about the whole ordeal. But it made me sad to see the real news, the real tragedies set aside for an article about a celeb breakup (or however else it ended.) Anyway, thank for this awesome article.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000436192682 Caitlyn Lechuga

    I’m a huge fan of Twilight & Kristen’s work pre and post Twilight and even I think this is too much. I’m also a hugh supporter of Kristen & Rob’s supposed off-screen relationship. But I agree let’s shed light on real issues. Instead of earning millions or billions on celebrity gossip these magazines should be talking about real crimes & issues. It will take some getting used to for the public but once they do get used to it we can be more educated on what’s really happening in this nation/world.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=605645918 Paula Gonzalez

    If you don’t like it, then don’t read it, don’t listen to it, turn the channel, change the station, walk away from the conversation. I have friends who don’t like all the crazy media stuff about celebs, and they ACTUALLY don’t know ANYTHING about it. I somewhat enjoy from time to time to read some gossips about celebrities, but that doesn’t mean that my critical thinking skills are challenged in any way. There are some contradictions in your article, like first you claim that ” It’s not that people get so emotionally invested, it’s that the press inundates us with this completely useless information without sharing the more relevant stories, be it domestic or international. ” and then you argue that “Because people want it. People buy it, and they love it, and they want more of it”. If you’d made your points without judging and without contradictions, I might have at least understand your stand, whether I agree with it or not, but the way it is, it’s just a rant about how much you don’t like gossip (even though you seem to know much about it) and about how you might judge people if they like it.

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